Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” Deluxe Edition CD

The other day I picked up a used copy of the Deluxe Edition of Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” album (1971). I had high expectations after the amazing 3-disc version of “Paranoid” I had picked up a month or so prior, and those hopes were fulfilled and then some! First off, the remastered sound on these discs is amazing. You can really hear all of the individual instruments without losing cohesion of the overall mix. Finally, as well, the levels are higher so you don’t have to raise your stereo volume to “eleven” anymore in order to rock out these amazingly heavy tunes.
The packaging is great too, with relevant photos from the era as well as pictures of rare singles and the like. One of my favorites is an ad for a UK tour on which they hail Sabbath as the “Dark Princes of Downer Rock”.
The real find on this set, however, is the unreleased track on the bonus disc. Along with the usual alternate takes and mixes of various album standards, is an actual unreleased track called “Weevil Woman ‘71”. The lyrics are throw away, but the riff is good and had they developed it further, it might have been a good tune to help fill out the album which does have a brief running time.
The other tracks on the bonus disc are interesting enough, but nothing to write home about; save for a version of “Lord of this World”, which features some slide guitar and a little piano. More notable as an oddity, it is interesting to hear this step in the creative process of the song.
In fine, this is yet another great Sanctuary Records redux of a classic album from the essential early years of the Black Sabbath oeuvre, and I look forward to obtaining the rest of the available sets as I can afford them.

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